Max third in exciting qualifying in Montreal: 'Very happy'

Published on 09 June 2018 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen has managed to snatch third during an exciting qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix. In the closing stages of the third part of qualifying, the Dutchman drove a 1:10.937, just 0.173 astray from Sebastian Vettel, who took home the pole. Valtteri Bottas came in second. Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo will start from fourth, fifth and sixth respectively on the grid tomorrow.

“It was a good qualifying”, says Max. “On the straights we are still losing a lot of time, but when you see that we are so close, we did well. I’m also very happy with the weekend so far. The car has been working really well this weekend, so I am really happy. I think that we will be competitive during the race.”

The pace to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes should be there, according to the Dutchman: “I think so. Especially in the race we can really do a good job. We are starting on the softer tyre which is a benefit because the track is pretty slippery here.”

With bright and sunny conditions the first part of qualifying gets underway. The session ends almost immediately for Romain Grosjean even before the Frenchman makes it out of the pitlane. After he leaves the pit box, his Haas immediately starts bellowing smoke from the rear. This means the end of qualifying for Grosjean.

After the first timed laps, Sebastian Vettel (1:11.710) and Kimi Raikkonen (1:11.725) are both P1 and P2. Behind the Ferrari’s, Valtteri Bottas (1:11.950), Max Verstappen (1:12.008) and Lewis Hamilton (1:12.072) follow. The difference in time between the drivers is minimal because the gap from P1 to P5 is less than four tenths.

Hamilton improves during his final run to a 1:11.835, earning the Britt the third spot. But when the clock hits zero, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin, Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean fall short in the first part of qualifying.

When Q2 gets underway, Max Verstappen clocks a 1:11.472 on the hyper-softs, with which the Dutchman grabs P1. The gap to Bottas (1:11.514), Vettel (1:11.524), Raikkonen (1:11.620), Hamilton (1:11.740) and team mate Daniel Ricciardo (1:11.835) is once again very minimal. The Ferrari and Mercedes drivers however, drove their times on the ultra-softs, in an effort to try and start tomorrow’s race on this compound.

Both Ferrari and Mercedes change to a set of the hyper-softs, but have no need to improve on their time. This means they will be starting tomorrow’s race on the ultra-softs. Daniel Ricciardo improves on Max Verstappen’s time in the dying seconds of the session. Apart from the three top teams, only the drivers from Renault and Force India round up the top ten. Drop outs in the second part of qualifying are: Kevin Magnussen, Brendon Hartley, Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

In Q3, Lewis Hamilton is the first to get things going with a 1:11.227. Team mate Bottas betters that time by over two tenths and is the first one the get below the 1:11 mark. Not much later, Vettel takes over from him with a 1:10.776. Max Verstappen is by now fourth with a 1:11.096, just a mere thousandth of a second astray from Raikkonen.

It is very exciting during the final timed laps. Max is the quickest in the first sector, but falls short by 0.173 of a second at the end of his lap. Vettel betters his time to a 1:10.764, earning the German pole position. Bottas follows in second in less than a tenth. Hamilton, Raikkonen and Riciardo will all start from fourth, fifth and sixth respectively tomorrow.

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Results qualifying Canada:

1Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:11.7101:11.5241:10.764
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:11.9501:11.5141:10.857
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:12.0081:11.4721:10.937
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:11.8351:11.7401:10.996
5Kimi RäikkönenRAIFerrari1:11.7251:11.6201:11.095
6Daniel RicciardoRICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:12.4591:11.4341:11.116
7Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:12.7951:11.9161:11.973
8Esteban OconOCOForce India Mercedes1:12.5771:12.1411:12.084
9Carlos SainzSAIRenault1:12.6891:12.0971:12.168
10Sergio PerezPERForce India Mercedes1:12.7021:12.3951:12.671
11Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:12.6801:12.606
12Brendon HartleyHARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:12.5871:12.635
13Charles LeclercLECSauber Ferrari1:12.9451:12.661
14Fernando AlonsoALOMcLaren Renault1:12.9791:12.856
15Stoffel VandoorneVANMcLaren Renault1:12.9981:12.865
16Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:13.047
17Lance StrollSTRWilliams Mercedes1:13.590
18Sergey SirotkinSIRWilliams Mercedes1:13.643
19Marcus EricssonERISauber Ferrari1:14.593